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The Federal Office of Rural Health Policy (FORHP) works to increase access to care for underserved people in rural communities. We do this through our grant programs and public partnerships.

How do we improve rural health in the U.S.?

FORHP advises the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) on health care issues that affect rural communities. This includes:

  • Access to quality health care and health professionals
  • Viability of rural hospitals
  • Effect of HHS-proposed rules and regulations

What programs do we manage?

Our programs fall into four categories:

How can I apply to your programs?

If your programs serve people in a rural area, you can apply for funding.

Visit What is a Rural Area? to learn how we define a rural area for grant eligibility.

Understand Our Role in Rural Health Policy

Section 1102(b) of the Social Security Act charges our office with advising the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services on how federal health care policies affect rural communities.

We do this by:

  • Monitoring policy changes to the Medicare and Medicaid programs
  • Analyzing the impact of policy changes on rural hospitals, clinics, and other health care providers
  • Examining a rural area’s ability to attract health professionals
  • Using the work of the Rural Health Research Centers to understand the challenges in rural communities

How can I get up-to-date news about rural health policy and rural grant programs?

We distribute weekly announcements with the latest policy, regulatory, research, funding, and resource updates.

Subscribe to weekly updates

Have a rural health policy question?


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